Alpha Audio launches ‘hi-fi’ sound sample database

Live multitests on Youtube are a lot of fun. And instructive! That is the reason why we continued with this concept after the pilot-run in November 2019. Now, we have greatly improved it since then. Think of better cameras, microphones, amplifiers, and so on. Besides these multitests we added Q and A’s and interviews to the menu. That way we can reach you in an interactive way. But how are we going to keep the ‘pure audiophile’ happy after a livestream test is finished? We have thought of that.

The Live Multitests that we have been doing since November 2019 have gone through quite an evolution. What started with a few ip-cameras and wireless microphones, has grown into a multicam setup with high quality, wired microphones to a professional amplifier. Also the streaming encoder has become much more powerful with professional processors, graphics cards and hdmi-capture cards. We can easily scale to 4K when the time is right.

This evolution has ensured that the setup now allows you to hear what we hear. Not exactly one on one of course, but it has become clear to us that you perceive the same differences as we do. We have also done some experiments with this by letting authors watch at home. And it turned out that this way of working just works… and it’s fun: it’s just another – perhaps more intense – way of consuming information.

Lossless

However, Youtube will always apply compression. So for those who really want to hear the differences, we have now created a database with all the samples. In uncompressed wav format. We have been making music samples of our review candidates for a while now. And we record the live streams at the same time in lossless avi (giga-huge-files, but hey: convenient afterwards). This method of working has made it possible to edit / extract lossless samples from the older recordings as well. These are now also in the database.

For your information: all recordings are done with:

  • Red TF-5 matched pair
  • Grace M108 microphone amplifier
  • Grimm TPR cabling
  • Benchmark AD16 ad-converter

This chain is extremely transparent and shows differences in equipment flawlessly. If we can perceive it, it is actually recorded in this way. In the meantime, we have carried out numerous tests within the editorial staff: remote, directly with headphones, playback on a different system… and time after time it turns out that although the playback medium plays a role (and that headphones just work better, certainly open-back models), the differences between the candidates remain the same. And that’s remarkable.

The samples are linked directly in the articles. This way you not only get a written review, but often also a video and lossless wav-files to hear what the product does. Below are some examples of reviews that are completed with wav-samples.

Examples

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